Hierarch of Georgian Church: Only believers can claim autocephaly

Metropolitan Andrew (Gvazava) of Gori and Ateni

Metropolitan Andrew (Gvazava) of Gori and Ateni believes that receiving autocephaly for the Church should take place only in the canonical way.

The hierarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Andrew (Gvazava) of Gori and Ateni believes that the Orthodox believers of Ukraine have the right to demand autocephaly for the Church. But all this must necessarily develop in the canonical way and in no other way, reports his words patriarchia.ru.

Giving an assessment of the actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate and representatives of the Ukrainian authorities in terms of autocephaly, the hierarch called this issue "very difficult and sensitive for the entire Orthodox Church", which "must be approached with great caution."

“I think that this approach with caution definitely involves the need to learn the opinion of other Churches on this issue,” said Vladyka Andrew. “Does Ukraine have the right to claim autocephaly of the Church? We believe that the Orthodox, believing people of Ukraine, have this right, but this must be the fullness of the clergy, the fullness of the bishops and believers of the Church, and all this must necessarily develop along the canonical course but not in any other way.”

The hierarch added he did not know when the Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church would be held, which would take any decision on the “Ukrainian issue”.

As reported by the UOJ, Schiarchimandrite Job (Grishchenko) of Zverinetsky Monastery of Archangel Mikhail in Kiev, appealed to the Georgian Orthodox Church to support the UOC during the persecutions and not recognize the schismatic OCU.

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